The Blues Brothers (1980)

The Blues Brothers (John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd) get their old band back together to help raise money to save the orphanage they grew up in.

Director: John Landis

Cast: John Belushi , Dan Aykroyd, The Blues Brothers Band, Carrie Fisher, James Brown, Cab Calloway

MPAA Rating: R for adult situations and language

Fun Fact: Had a world record of having 103 cars wrecked during filming.

The Blues Brothers was an SNL skit that ran when Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi were on the show back in the 1970’s. I have never really seen any of the skits before I saw the film. It was the beginning of taking SNL skits and characters and bringing them on to the big screen.

What we get is a well-paced blend of music, comedy, and action. The car chase scenes well definitely get your attention as they go on. They’re a few of them in the film and it’s those scenes that will make you invested in the action. It brings the movie up to a higher level and it goes back down to a nice a slower pace when finished. Those moments of action, while they can be over the top, are shot well and the car crashes are brilliant stunt work. It had the record of most car crashes in a film for the longest time. While most of the comedy is over the top, like having the National Guard going after the Blues Brothers, will still make you laugh. In fact, it seems like every group of people are after them. Rednecks, Nazis, police, a homicidal fiancé, the National Guard, you name it. Yes, it’s over the top but, you still laugh because the comedic writing is well done. It’s the ways that the characters that get into these situations that make it balanced and funny.

Blending in the over the top action and comedy is the fact that the plot is well written. You want the Blues Brothers to succeed in their quest of saving their orphanage. It’s their home and many people are depending on them to get the money together. While you don’t want them to resort to crime to get the money but, the small petty crime comes to them, like running a red light. It’s the characters motives that keep the plot together.

Now let’s talk about the very best part of the film: the music. The songs that had been selected are sung and performed by talented musicians. You have the legendary Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, and Cab Calloway doing renditions of different classic songs. The performances are well directed and the musicians are looking like they are having a great time with the material. The songs that are chosen, are the upbeat classic rhythm and blues songs that will get your foot tapping when you hear them. After viewing the film, I went out and picked up the soundtrack to this. That’s how much I loved the music in this film.

Overall The Blues Brothers is a brilliant film. It has a perfect blend of music, action, and comedy. The script is well written and while it can be over the top, you will be invested in the whole film. It gives us characters that we want to root for and talented people performing awesome songs.

Verdict: Hit

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